January 26, 2004
THE MODERATOR: First question, please.
Q. You've played Lleyton a lot. What was the difference tonight? How did you get the win?
ROGER FEDERER: Well, you know, I took things out which were good for me in Davis Cup, you know, in Shanghai. We haven't played too often since I'm basically in the Top 10. Since, we always had great matches. This time I've played better than him, and he got the two other ones. But the real difference, I don't really know. I can't tell you (smiling).
Q. When he won the first set, he's a very hard guy to beat in a long match. How discouraged were you? Did you decide just to keep hitting until you finally found your game?
ROGER FEDERER: Obviously, I was unhappy. I knew to come back from a set down against him would be very, very difficult. But I was not playing well. I wasn't serving well. So I knew if I can change all that, I can, you know, see what happens. That's exactly, you know, the reaction I wanted. Maybe I got a little lucky with that foot fault call, now, looking back. But I still felt like I started to play better and better in that second and especially third set afterwards. I was playing much more aggressive. Still not serving great, but was enough. Looking back, I'm very pleased I've come back from a set down.
Q. How do you explain that, finding your game?
ROGER FEDERER: I was chasing the lines too much in the beginning. I was letting him take control of the points and I was doing all the running. You know, maybe, who knows, little nervous also in the beginning just to feel the way around. He got that break in the beginning. Could have been 2-love for me, too, you know. So that was a bad start for me. He took advantage of it, because he served well in that first set.
Q. Did you hear that guy yell "Davis Cup" at 5-4 for you in the fourth and love-30 down, before you banged that ace?
ROGER FEDERER: No, I didn't. My friend told me that somebody yelled that. But there's been other comments, too, before that. I had worse comments than that in Davis Cup so I can live with that one.
Q. Is this in a way revenge for that Davis Cup?
ROGER FEDERER: Big revenge, yeah. Like I said on court, this is very big for me and my career. I'm chasing No. 1 in this tournament and, you know, this year, it's me the bad guy who, you know, puts Lleyton out of the draw, you know. Get a lot of press, obviously. But my goal is to go further, not just to beat Lleyton. Tomorrow I've got to forget what happened tonight and start from zero again.
Q. You have 1-5 with Nalbandian. How about next round?
ROGER FEDERER: Last time I beat him, so I'm confident (smiling).
Q. How different is his play to Lleyton's play?
ROGER FEDERER: Oh, it's definitely different, you know. Already the serving is totally different. He's got more of a kick serve. Lleyton's got more of a slice serve. That already changes a lot of how the points are set up. I feel like Nalbandian maybe looks more for the angles and the backhand down the line, where Lleyton just is happy with regular cross-court, you know, deep. So, yeah, it's gonna be totally different match even though they're similar players. You know, against him, I've got a revenge, too, from last year because that was a tough match, too.
Q. You had a little joke at John McEnroe out on the court, that he was too old for you to remember. He said more than one time that he thinks you could be the most talented player he's ever seen play. How does that make you feel when you hear that from somebody like him?
ROGER FEDERER: He had some talent himself, you know (smiling). That's nice to hear from him. He's gave me a lot of praise over the years, but he's also criticized my game, which he's allowed to, you know. Depends how serious you take all this, what he says, or other players or experts. I think I've coped well with it so far. You know, it's nice to hear those things. So you also got to accept when sometimes people don't talk well about you.
Q. Do you agree with Andre Agassi that it's better to be without a coach than to be with a bad coach?
ROGER FEDERER: I guess so, you know. This is not my -- that wasn't my situation. He wasn't a bad coach, Peter. The opposite. So, Agassi, he should know. He's got enough experience.
Q. That racquet you play with, is it the racquet supposedly made for Pete Sampras at the beginning of last year?
ROGER FEDERER: No. It's the one they're selling now in the store.
Q. The one that you can only buy a pair of them?
ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, that's right.
End of FastScriptsâ€¦.